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Friday, July 29, 2011

How to Get Amazon Gift Cards with Trade-Ins 

How to Get an Amazon Gift Card by trading in your old DVD’s, Video Games, Textbooks, or Electronics

Before I shared this with everyone, I waited until we received our actual Amazon Gift Card for over $120. The process was way easy. What’s fun is that I’m going to use this same gift card to get the Kindle I’m giving away for this month’s launch of my Mystery/Thriller, Brilliant Prey Plus, we were planning on donating a lot of the books, movies and games we traded in anyway, so this almost feels like we “WON” something.

First, simply go to and click on “Your Account” and log in. (You might want to create an account if you don’t have one.) On the far right, you will see the box telling you that you are logged in. Beneath that box, still on the far right, will be a box entitled “Your Other Accounts.” The second account is called “Your Trade-In Account.” Click on that.

Most of it is self-explanatory from there, but I might as well walk you through the details while you’re here. On the far right, you’ll see “Trade-In Stores.” Of course, you’ll pick the stores where you might have trade-ins. We found almost everything we wanted to trade-in.

We started with the Video Games Trade-In Store. Just use the search function located at the top of the particular Trade-In Store. Once you enter your search term, i.e. Wii My Bulgarian Coach, pictures and descriptions of several items will pop up with prices that Amazon is willing to award to you in the form of a gift card for an item in “Good”, “Acceptable” or “Like New” condition. Naturally, you will try to match the exact item description and select it by clicking the small “Trade-In” button. Be sure to select the “Trade-In” button rather than clicking on the item, or you’ll wind up at a store shopping for something you own. But you can always hit the browser “Back” button and mosey on back where you need to be.

The selected items will appear on your Trade-In list. Don’t stress yourself over which condition to choose. They even take games and movies without the cases as long as they’re in good enough condition to play. Amazon will accept, upgrade or downgrade the item’s condition whenever they scan in the received items. And, yes, they actually upgraded several of our items from “Good” to “Like New” condition and gave us the better price. J

Every time you want to add another item to Trade-In, just go to the bottom and click the “Add Another Item” button. Naturally, you can delete items off the list before you submit the list if you’d rather keep items. To delete, just go to the far left and click the “Delete” button. I apparently didn’t correctly match one movie and two video games, but Amazon already returned those wrong items at no charge, because I clicked the box asking for wrong items to be returned. In other words, it wasn’t a big deal that I got something “wrong” and Amazon didn’t send me any notes accusing me of being either a Dufus or a cheat. They played nice.

Also, you might be surprised what will count as Textbooks in their Textbook Trade-In store. Maybe you’re a big “How To” book-buying fan like we are and have a lot of “For Dummies” books or “Complete Idiot’s Guides” along with your Calculus and Quantum Physics textbooks. Many varieties of “How To” type books count as Textbooks, so it’s worth throwing your different titles into the Textbook search engine to see if you might add more value to your gift card.

On the DVD and Movie Trade-In Store, you might also be asked to pick whether your movie is Blu-Ray, DVD, Full Screen, or Wide Screen, but nothing complicated.

Once you are through adding all items to your Trade-In List, click the “Continue” button. That’s where you select the type of shipping which Amazon pays for. Since our items included things other than books, such as video games and movies, we kept reading that we could not ship those kinds of items by the postal service's Media Mail. So we ran and got a $2.38 box from a UPS store. You can ship those items by UPS. That size box was big enough to hold everything we had, including all video games, movies and textbooks. Then, after we hit the “Continue” button, we selected the “UPS” icon for shipping and clicked on our own address for the return address.

You review and submit your Trade-In list. The Trade-In List and Shipping Label will appear on the screen for you to print. We printed those. The instructions on these sheets were very clear on what we needed to do. The label also gave us a date that we needed to ship the items by, which I believe was about a week from the date we printed it. Next, we double-checked our stacks against the Trade-In list and put all the items inside the UPS box with some packing tissue paper that we grabbed out of gift bags.

The printed Trade-In List instructs you to place the list inside the box with your items, so we placed that list on top of the items inside the UPS box. Don’t worry about losing your list forever, because Amazon still has that same list on your account, so you can look at it as often as you want. You should also have a Shipping Label that printed out with the list, which includes the postage that Amazon pays for. We already had the clear packing tape, which we taped across the shipping label on top of the box. The shipping label warns not to stick the label on a box seam, so we didn’t do that. We dropped the box off at UPS to ship and didn’t have to pay anything. If you’re shipping something valuable, you might consider insuring it. We didn’t.

It was really that easy or we would not have bothered to do it. If you do get stuck, there’s always the button called “Trade-In Help.” After you ship, you can click on “Your Trade-In Account” and click on the button on the far left to “Track your packages.” I was able to track our particular trade-in package all the way there.

Then, I got an e-mail from Amazon notifying us that our Amazon Trade-In had been received. Inside the e-mail was our Trade-In List with the thrilling words “Gift Card Deposited” next to the prices. The sum is all lumped into one Gift Card balance which should be applied against purchases you make in Amazon.
In order to see your Gift Card Balance, click on “Your Account”. Then in the second boxed-in section, you’ll see in bold the heading “Gift Cards”. Beneath that heading, you’ll see and click “View Gift Card Balance.” Our only expense was the $2.38 that we paid for the UPS box. We’ve already started a new trade-in stack.

I hope that gives you some “found money”. Should taking a chance on a fast paced Mystery/Thriller appeal to you, then you will now be able to get the 99 cents to grab Brilliant Prey, and still have some extra loot. Also, if you don’t have an electronic reader, you can click the “Kindle to PC” button and read the book on your PC if you want. And you can get it for virtually any ereader for 99 cents at

I truly hope you wind up with a nice fat Amazon Gift Card from all your trade-ins. We were happy to get rid of some clutter and receive a gift card for it.

I’m going to go right now and get my big giveaway Kindle with my gift card. You might even be the one to win that Kindle, which would be cool. Thank you for stopping by.

Update: I did use the Gift Card and already received the brand new giveaway Kindle that I will give away October 8th along with other prizes. I did send an e-mail to Amazon when the Gift Card balance wasn’t initially applied to buy the Kindle, and they immediately fixed that problem. Ways to win are being finalized and are being posted on my August blog.      


  1. Wow, what a great function! I had no idea. Thanks for sharing!

  2. You're welcome, Christa! The Trade-In store is new. I hope you get some cool stuff.

  3. Brenda thanks for sharing. This came at the perfect time. I'm trying to sort through things we no longer use.

  4. Hi Pat! Great to see you! I'm so glad to hear that this came at the perfect time. It feels pretty amazing to get a gift card for getting rid of clutter. Your comment came at the perfect time, too. Thanks.